Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 7.24.19
By angelamontana

Posted: July 26, 2019

Summer  is here. This year we are still having very unusual weather and that means sudden changes in weather and water.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms can   happen    quickly, so fishermen or fisherwomen need to   keep in touch with the weather service and let others know where they are for safety sake when out and about.  Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So, use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. Keep an eye on the weather as conditions such as temperature, wind, fire and precipitation   can   come in with fierce strength.  This report is compiled on Monday and Tuesday and reflects conditions and results of fishing from the past week.  If you wish other information feel­­ free to contact most parties for current daily information. Good luck fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.  

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

Marina number is less reliable in winter.  1-406-485-2560

 Monty reports,” the fishing was very good all week.  I was able to fish myself on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I caught a good number of fish.  The walleye fish  I caught were in the 21 to 25 inches in size.  We found the color chartreuse and the color similar to  a crawdad color worked well. We found cranks were working.   We caught 13 fish were bass, walleye and northern pike.  The fish were at depth of 12 feet.  Purple lures were working.  We  did have  a lot of people here this week.  If you find the right spot you can find the fish.  The water has gone down and is clearer.  ”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, ”  It was hot this week.  The fishing was a little better this week.  The top water temperature was  75 to 76 degrees this morning when I checked it.  People are finding bass and walleye  in the shallows.  They caught few northern pike.  I have heard people found the crappie deep but they were not hungry.  The water is clearer, and the level has gone down.  The water is not  going over the spillway now.   As you fish take it easy as they are predicting  a really hot week and make sure you drink water.”

**The reservation system is now  in effect .  We are part of a new pilot program that allows you to make a reservation one day ahead.  We are hoping that this brings in people who have been unable to use the campground on short notice.  Other spots like  Campers Point, Sandpoint, Peewee, Rattlesnake, Peewee North, and River view below the dam are open to first come, first serve.  They have no electrical.  The docks are in.

 Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows  you may use on Tongue.     .

 Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg, Fletcher /Warden Jordan Staley

 Stephanie reports ,  “ Fishing has been decent.  The weather was starting to get hot. We saw a few people get walleye.  People caught some bass and a couple of walleye on a jig.   They told me mostly in  in 8 to 15 feet of water moving really   slow with a worm or a minnow.  Some fishermen were  doing really well catching crappie in 20 to 25 feet of water with worm harnesses.  The water  is clearing.  The water has better clarity.  It has been slow fishing. “

 Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345  

 Clint  reports, ”Fishing has pretty much stayed the same this week.  They seem to be shallow at 2 to 8 feet  and chasing them right up to the bank using a minnow works in the morning.  After noon they are in depths of 12 to 15 feet depths.  The Hell Creek Tournament  is this weekend. There are still openings.  Call Reed or Casey Thomas at the meat packing plant to sign up.  The walleye  have been good weights.  They have been found all over.  The bite has slowed down on the upper end.  From Hell Creek to the dam the fishing has been really good.  The fish are going for silver and blue and blue and white right now.  The road with  the rain is in surprisingly good shape.  Guys are catching  small  northern pike there  and the bigger northerns were in 12 to 20 feet depths.  The bass seem to be in depths of 20 feet, so they are deep.  Pitch a jig with a crawler or Rapella for them.    ”

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Eddie  reports, “  the walleye fishing is good.  People are finding them  at 18 to 25 feet at particular times of day.  People are using crawdads or leaches and  people are cranking for them.  The northern pike are being found  at the same depths as walleye.   The lake trout are being found at 70 to 105 feet depths.  They are jigging or using down riggers.  I have heard of four salmon being caught in the late week.  The fish are in depths of over 180 feet down.  The lake has dropped but only a minimal amount. “

We have gotten in some really nice minnows and many kinds. I have fat ones, sucker minnows and also shiner minnows.  I also have jumbo leaches and crawlers.  All We can cover all your needs and if you want to charter a boat, we can help with that too.   Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283

Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm

 Scott reports, “  The walleye fishing was pretty good.  We are hearing a lot of reports that they are shallow at 10 to 5 feet.  They are finding  big fish at eaters at 20 to 25 feet later in the day. Guys are using crawdads and leeches.  The guys are doing well for pike and bass cranking at 10 to 12 feet depths.   The water temperature today is 69 ½ to 72 degrees.

The lake trout bite is on fire. They seem to be at 90 to 100 feet depths using jigs .  People are using big shiver minnows and down rigger flashers, squids and also spoons.  The big news in the last three days is that a few people have  caught  salmon.  I have heard of 5 salmon being caught. They were in the 18-pound range.  So obviously the bite is starting to pick up. It should be cranking up in the next two weeks I suspect.“

 The bait and tackle store are open  Thursday thru Monday, and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are  on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper.   “

 Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

Jake  reports,” The fishing has been good.  It has not been slow.  I fished the last two  days and did well.  Fishing is good for walleye.   Marshal Cove is closed today (Wednesday). The boat dock and  Marshal Cove will open on Friday at 2 pm.  The water is no longer over the spillway since last Wednesday.  For walleye fishing is  good.  I was in a boat out about 25 feet and casting to 10 feet from shore in the weeds.  I used a Rapella  jig wrap in a green, yellow and white.  I caught 20 walleye fishing from 10:30 to 5:30 pm. The water temperature was 70 degrees and it is still high.

  Remember to help keep the big fish in the water for breeding by releasing them.  Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.”

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Carol reports, “ this weekend the Kiwanis group had a kids fishing day at Lake Elmo.  The children often caught small fish.  Most were pumpkin seed with a few blue gill and perch.  The children enjoyed the excitement of their catch despite their size.

Bob reports, “the heat  has slowed down fishing  a bit.  I think some of that is the hot weather which slows down the number of people going out in the heat of the day.  There have been many recreationalists who have been enjoying Elmo.

With the heat, windy and dry conditions people need to be aware of fire danger.  We hope you will use high caution as we advise to help prevent any fires.

The Bundy Fishing Access at Pompey’s Pillar bridge ramp is not accessible right now.  The gravel bar no longer  exists.  ”

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

 Tony  says,”  we are seeing lots of boats out there.  I know they are trolling  out there and I do know of someone catching a one-  pound rainbow trout.  I will say most of the people on the weekend have been recreational in nature,  People are still  catching  fish at Broadview pond this week.  The people seem to be there from early morning to noon probably to beat the heat. .   The campgrounds are all open.  ”

 Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

Terry says, “  I talked to some guys who said they went to Deadmans and caught a nice rainbow and brown.  They commented on all the people just doing recreational  boating there on the weekend.   Someone also talked about fishing at Colstrip.  They said they did really well.  They caught all four species  and had a cooler full of fish.  They caught  blue gill trolling .  That to me is surprising as blue gill traditionally have a soft mouth.   Some said silver was really working “

 Checkerboard Inn   Checkerboard, MT   Rick and Judy Geordge  406-572-3373

 Judy says,”  fishermen  were  fishing at Bair. People were smiling  and said they had good fishing from Bair, Martinsdale  and Sutherlan.    Some said they were catching trout with  worms as they were really working.  I heard nothing on Sutherlan or Newland. ”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday

 John  reports , “ East Fork-  The east Fork has a good perch bite.  They are catching on both flies and night crawlers on a spin rod.

Crooked Creek-  In the  past week people were catching fish at Crooked Creek.  They are catching   walleye with  a worm harness’. Some are coming back doing well and some are not doing as well.  You have to find them to catch them.

  Achley- At  Achley the fishing is slower.  People were catching despite some rain. They have been catching some tiger muskies with panther martins. It is better early in the am and late in the evening.  The muskies killer mepps lure is working right now.

Spring Creek-  It is the time of year when Spring Creek is slightly off color . Streamers are working. Try a Prince as they are working right now.  You can also try a nymph or a panther marten.  “

We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms.  We have live minnows.

Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig   406-429-2999 

Carri says, “I have to say again this week that fishing is unbelievable.  It has not changed.  People are catching fish.  You do not have to go far.  In the past fishermen have gone to Forchette but they are not finding luck going so far.  People staying close to the marina are doing better.  The fish are in the shallows.  They are plentiful.  We got our limit in 3 hours one day this week. We were using bottom bouncers in 2 to 8 feet depths right along the mudline.  We found the pike at depths of 5 feet.  The eater size walleye are at 2 to 8 feet depths,  the bigger ones are at 12 feet.  People are catching a ton of crappies.  Leaches and night crawlers are working.  The water temperature is 74 degrees.  The bank fishing has slowed down,”

  When you  come to Crooked Creek,  I suggest you bring minnows if you have them.   I do have some bait but not a lot, so I suggest people bring minnows.

The campground and marina are open 7am to 7 pm  every day.  If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.

  Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

 Sharon  says,” fishing has been very good. We have  wind today  and the week had lots of wind.  You can find fish pretty much  everywhere people say. The trout fishing is very good  and especially going north.  The walleye and perch  fishing has been good and some nice ones  have been caught.  Use bottom bouncers with bright colors.  Fishing  at night has been good.  Many people are going  into fish from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. ”

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

The Flamingo is closed.

West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611  

 Mindy reports,” Nelson is still good fishing. The bite for walleye on Nelson  is good.  They are catching  some perch. Walleye have been  at 17 to 28 feet.  The perch are at  depths of 35  feet depths. Try   using  worm harnesses and leeches as they are working. The water levels are good.  Bring your mosquito repellent. Use the Regina road to get in.   ”

 Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce  reports, “

Stillwater- People are rafting the Stillwater.  The water is clearer the higher up you go.  People are catching some nice browns they say.

Fort Peck – At the dam guys are catching nice lake trout.  Many people are using slashers and down- rigging..  They are finding nice lake trout in size.  There are reports of a few salmon late this week.  It is about time.  Try bottom bouncers for them.

Tongue –  The Tongue River continues to be slow guys have said.  It just has not been a consistent bite.

Petrolia-I had a guy come in just now to buy minnows for Petrolia.  He had heard there were some people catching.

Yellowstone- On the Yellowstone the water is up.    If you can get into a fast channel you will catch cats.  Use a minnow or cut bait.

Clarks fork-  The Clarks Fork is good fishing one fisherman told me.

Cooney- Fishermen are  catching browns.  Some were catching with cranks from a boat and catching walleye.  The heat is affecting the fishing.  The weekend is hard to fish because of the people with recreation boats.

Yellowtail- Some guys say  they were catching lots of small bass.  They were jigging.“

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich tells me, “ Fort Peck is doing good.  People have been doing good there.  I know we caught some nice fish.  We had five over 10 pounds.  It was the best fishing I have had in 40 years of fishing there.  We had 3 boats and all six of us caught fish.  We caught lots of northern pike.  Nothing over 15 pounds.

Canyon Ferry- At Canyon Ferry  guys are still catching walleye.   Some nice 18- inch ones. They are catching northern pike .  Some nice walleye were caught with bottom bouncers.

Nelson-  People say Nelson is good fishing right now.

Rivers- The Jefferson and the Gallatin are down. I have had quite a few out-of-staters  coming in  buying bait and heading to Madison.   On the rivers they are catching fish.  They are clear.

Lake Francis-  A fisherman came in buying bait because Lake Francis is good for perch.  He was heading there. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine

 Ken states,” The fishermen  fishing the Stillwater have found that it is fishing well.  On the Stillwater use blue olives , pheasant tales and girdle bugs.  The water is clearer.  Try a purple haze, a caddis pattern or a BMD.  One week ago PMX and a royal haze was working. The water is dropping.   You can float.  It is doable.

The Yellowstone is still  high and moving fast. Try the grinch or an Electric Gold fish,

On the Boulder use a fish stimulator or anything in yellow or orange.  The Jake Cabe in gold  or tan.“

Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

“I am guiding on the Big Horn River right now.  Fishing action at this time is happening between 9 and 3 pm.  People are catching fish.  After that the water just gets too warm.  There are things happening on the water.  There are caddis hatching.  You will also see some PMD’s as well.  There are a few small Yellow Sally’s on the river coming out now.  The water is high.  Wade fishing is not possible right now.  Nymphing right now is okay.  Dry fly fishing is your best option.  Try  a few streamers they may work.  The water quality is clear.   “

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   Rick/Stephanie/

“Stephanie says, “fishing is definitely better.  People are saying there is more  dry fly action. Try                                               a black caddis or a yellow Sally or a PMD.  A few streamers are starting to work.  Try the thin mint.  The water CFS  is at  9000 CFS.  The water temperature is 56 degrees.  Some people are wading, and some are reporting they” are having a ball”;

Our hours   are   8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  406-646-9644.

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 7/23/19


Upper Madison: The Madison has continued to fish really well over the past week. Strong daily caddis emergences have provided the most consistent dry fly action, but look for PMD’s, epeorus, Yellow Sally and attractor patterns to bring some fish to the surface as well. You can still throw some larger salmons and goldens around and fool a few fish, but it seems to be working less and less each day. If you’re between hatches and want to keep fishing on top, it might not be too early to start throwing some terrestrials around. The nymphing is still going strong, although it seems that we are just about getting to that point in the season where we need to start switching to some smaller patterns (size 16-18).

Flies: #8 Salmonfly Hotcake, #10 Henry’s Fork Stone, #10 Half-down Golden, #6-12 Chubby Chernobyl, #14 Full-tilt Sally, #16-18 X-Caddis, #16 D.O.A. PMD Cripple, #16 Ausable Parawulff, #14-16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #14-16 Red Neck, #16-18 Green/Black Lightning Bug, #16-18 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #16-18 Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear

Hebgen: We are still waiting for things to really get rolling on Hebgen as far as bugs and dry fly fishing goes. That being said, nymphing with a chironomid, callibaetis or hare’s ear continues to be very effective most days.

Flies: #12 Sno Cone, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #16 Callibaetis Parachute, #10 Simi Seal Leech, #8 Jig Bugge

Gallatin: If you’re looking for a place to throw some dries in some nice, cool water during this upcoming warm week, the Gallatin is your spot. We have been catching nice fish both in and out of the park stretch lately and it should only keep getting better in the coming days. Bring yellow sallies, caddis, drakes, PMD’s, and your attractors of choice. Fair warning that with all these afternoon storms we have been getting, the water below Taylor Fork has been kicking in some color depending on the day.

Flies: #12 Chili Dog, #14-16 Lime/Royal Trude, #12-16 Parawulff, #14 409, #8-12 Royal/Peacock/Golden Chubby Chernobyl, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #14 Full-Tilt Sally

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone above the Falls: Despite the water being a little higher and more off color than we would like, we have still had some great reports coming in from the Yellowstone since opening day. Expect to see golden stones, drakes, PMD’s and caddis both above and below LeHardy.

Flies: #8-12 Salmon/Golden Cubby Chernobyl, #12 Chutes Green Drake, #12 Missing Link Green Drake, #14-16 Missing Link #16 D.O.A. PMD Cripple, #16 PMD Sparkle Dun, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #12-16 Rusty Spinner

NE Corner: Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are now all officially clear enough to be fishable and you should be able to find rising fish in any and all of these. Terrestrials, drakes, PMD’s, Caddis and attractors will all be in play. If you still find the water in Lamar and Soda Butte to be slightly off color, try a tungsten head dropper off the back of a larger hopper or Chubby.

Flies: #12-16 Royal Trude, #12-16 Parawulff Adams, #12 Missing Link Green Drake, #14-16 Missing Link, #16 PMD Sparkle Dun, #16 D.O.A. PMD Cripple, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #14 409, #12 Quill JIg, #12 Lucent Jig, #16 Olive Biot Czech